Discovering nature in lockdown
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Discovering nature in lockdown

From Christopher in the marketing team…

One of my memories from lockdown is the Scottish ospreys. My family tuned into the Loch Arkaig live cam for hours, watching the birds stomping around their nest. At the end of the day, we would even check in on them before heading to bed, sleeping a little easier knowing the birds were all safely there, huddled together with their heads in their feathers.

We weren’t the only ones tuned in. Thousands were watching these birds at any moment. I find it such a moving thought: all those people watching the same stream at the same time, all those people caring for those birds. While lockdown meant that we couldn’t be far from the house, it didn’t stop us from appreciating the world outside in new, powerful ways.

As lockdown arrives once more, there’s something again important to find in the landscape. We spoke with Jennie from Bedruthan’s Creative & Experience team for ideas on how to uncover the beauty of nature. Jennie’s long been an advocate for finding a more sustainable way of living that’s in tune with nature’s slower rhythms, keeping track of her own progress on her blog Pretty PracticalHere are her some ideas for things to do outdoors during November.

A way to help nature out

“Nurdles”— that’s the name given to small microplastic pellets — have a huge impact on marine wildlife. They are often mistakenly swallowed or ingested by sea creatures.

Jennie told us about how there’s a massive clean-up operation being organised at a grassroots level, powered by volunteers from across the world.

You can join them: all that’s required to help is a bucket and access to a beach. See the details on “nurdle hunting” here.

Things to do while walking

Long lockdown walks are a great opportunity to learn more about the natural systems around us.

If you’re lucky and live in near woodlands, Jennie was explaining to us how this time of year is best to identify trees (as their autumnal leaves fall to the ground, the shape and bark of the tree becomes more easily recognisable).

Environments also continually change and present themselves differently: there’s a new brown structure that’s recently appeared on Mawgan Porth beach, which Jennie explained was actually the trace of an old forest.

Even if you live in a city, there is much to be seen: there are birds in the sky and insects on the ground.

Walks are also good times to find materials for family crafting activities. Jennie makes very charming animals from autumn’s discarded leaves. (She then uses these as puppets.)

Looking for a project? Welcome wildlife into your home

A different kind of lockdown home renovation: making somewhere for animals to reside.

There are many great tutorials online for making new garden wildlife refuges such as hedgehog houses.

If you’re looking for a smaller project, Jennie recommends a homemade pinecone bird feeder. This project can also be good as a family activity — the RSPB have a tutorial here.

It’s tempting to spend this lockdown period carefully manicuring your garden. But perhaps consider letting things overgrow instead. Letting native species thrive can be beneficial to local insect populations. (Plus, we think there’s something beautiful in a wild garden.)